Deck Highlight: Historic Rakdos Arcanist

Rakdos Arcanist is a grindy synergy deck that takes a bunch of graveyard-based cards and makes them into an efficient machine. It also recently got an update thanks to Zendikar Rising, which added a whole new angle to the deck.

Rakdos Arcanist by Sam Pratt

Game Plan

This deck uses Stitcher’s Supplier to fuel Kroxa and Village Rites, while also flipping over Claim // Fame and cheap creatures.

Scourge of the Skyclaves also adds a fast clock, with eight spell-lands that let you pay large amounts of life each game.

The deck has a bunch of overlapping engines – Dreadhorde Arcanist with Supplier and cheap spells, Fame to pump Arcanist, Kroxa with mill, and Lurrus with everything.

Bloodchief’s Thirst has replaced Claim the Firstborn and Spark Harvest, and Knight of the Ebon Legion adds more aggression.

Tips and Tricks

  • Claim // Fame on Arcanist goes off and is usually your best target.
  • Against non-aggressive decks, you should pay life for your lands just about every time for Scourge.
  • Stitcher’s Supplier is your most important card to see early.
  • You can burn the opponent out by reanimating Kroxa a bunch.
  • Archfiend’s Vessel is better in your graveyard than in play, so throw it away for even the smallest amount of value.

Adding the aggressive element makes this deck more resilient to graveyard hate, which was its biggest weakness. It also combines nicely with Thoughtseize, as the deck isn’t forced to grind every game out and can go for quick wins.

This is a great deck to play if you like incremental value, lots of small decisions, and the ability to play both aggressive and attrition games. It’s very skill-rewarding and punishing if you haven’t practiced enough (Death’s Shadow-style decks are like that).

Good luck, and may your Scourges always be enormous.

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